Sustainability Project Intern, Quincy Animal Care (Spring & Summer 2020)
12-16 Week Commitment. At least 2-3 full days per week.
Summary: The Sustainability Project Intern will assist staff with identifying and cataloging the eggs and larvae collected from fishes on exhibit at the New England Aquarium and the Quincy Animal Care Center, our offsite facility in Quincy, MA. In an effort to become more sustainable, the Aquarium is taking advantage of spawning that occurs naturally on exhibit. Accurately identifying the species that are spawning will enhance the current larval rearing program at the Aquarium.
Responsibilities: Work closely with Aquarists to accomplish:
- Collecting egg samples from the various exhibits including the Giant Ocean Tank, and the Blue Hole, and the Quincy Animal Care Center
- Separate eggs, assign catalog numbers, and photograph using a compound microscope
- Photograph larvae using a compound microscope
- Create catalog pages describing morphological characteristics of eggs and larvae including notochord length, oil droplet diameter, and yolk sac volume
- Isolate DNA using a Gentra Purgene Tissue kit, amplify 16S gene through PCR, and run electrophoresis on PCR product for quality control. The PCR product will then be sent to a sequencing lab to determine species.
- Strong interest in biology and marine science, previous experience with animals preferred
- High attention to detail, previous experience with microscopes preferred
- Willing to travel between facilities (New England Aquarium, Quincy Animal Care Center, and Roger Williams University)
- This position requires physical labor, must be able to lift 40 lbs and be at least 18 years old
- Applicant must be able to work independently and as a team
- Ability to take and carry out multiple instructions in a timely manner
- Be comfortable working with animals
- Orientation (takes place prior to first training or shift with department)
- Meet and Greet
- Two Professional Development Lunches
- Intern Celebration
- Exit Interview
Organizational Description: The New England Aquarium's mission is to protect the blue planet through hands-on programs, live animal and interactive exhibits, public lectures and forums, and research and conservation projects. This mission is fulfilled through exhibits, and through education, conservation and research programs. Exhibits showcase the diversity, importance and beauty of aquatic life and habitats, and highlight critical aquatic conservation issues. Programs emphasize species, habitats and issues critical to New England. The Aquarium is also a pioneer in marine animal rescue, and a leading ocean conservation organization with research scientists working around the globe. The New England Aquarium serves as a responsive community resource that attracts and involves the broadest possible audience; seeks a culturally diverse staff and governing board that reflect our community; adheres to the highest standards of animal stewardship; and is committed to delivering the highest quality visitor experience in a welcoming and enjoyable manner that evokes wonder, curiosity, understanding, caring and action.
This position is not located in Boston and is at our Animal Care Center located along the Fore River in Quincy. Transportation to this facility is easiest by car but one can also reach the facility by public transportation. Public transportation requires taking the Redline to Quincy Center, transferring to bus, and walking about 5 minutes.